How to write a job advert

09 July 2019
Attracting top talent is more important than ever, with many businesses competing for the most skilled candidates. So your business needs to stand out from the crowd. And one of the starting points is with writing an engaging job advert. This guide explores how to go about this process so you’ll receive applications from relevant candidates.

What is a job advert?

It’s typically a digital notification of a business’ need to hire an employee to perform certain tasks within an organisation. However, some businesses still turn to print (or other) sources to acquire talent. A “job spec” as it’s also called will detail the specific requirements of a role. It’ll explain the duties the new starter can expect to complete. Additionally, it’ll outline the level of experience you’re looking for. It’s also an opportunity for you to sell your business to prospective candidates. This is why it’s important to create a business careers page along with your other hiring strategies. You can sell your organisation to talent—win them over with why it’s great to work for you. So, what is a job advertisement? It’s you chance to gain applications from relevant and skilled candidates. After which you can begin the interview process.

Writing a job advert

How to write a job spec can prove a more difficult task than first realised—you need to cover the exact information to attract the right potential employees. It’s an essential skill in the modern business world as you compete with rival organisations to win the best talent. As such, knowing how to write a good job advert in the UK is imperative to your annual objectives. If you’re not doing it well, then you’ll miss out on the employees who can make a big difference. How to write a great job advert depends on your business’ objectives. But there are key points you should cover to encourage the right candidates to apply. These are:
  • Job title: Stating the obvious, but make sure you get this right. This means if you’re aiming for a junior or senior role, include this in title to candidates with the correct amount of experience apply.
  • Introduction: Explain the reason for the role and what the new starter will be contributing to the business. This can be a paragraph or two.
  • Responsibilities: Here’s the chance to explain what the employee will be doing on a daily basis. You can include KPIs and who they’ll be reporting to in this information.
  • Candidate requirements: Here you can explain how much experience the new starter will need, along with the skill set they should have.
  • Wage: It may be tempting to leave this off, but including the salary can save everyone time. If a senior candidate feels the wage is too low, for example, then they won’t be happy if they find out at a later date during the interview stage.
  • Company culture: It’s a good idea to explain—honestly—what it’s like working for your business. You can include perks, too, to bring in more applications. This may include a flexible work scheme or free coffee and tea.
  • Miscellaneous information: You can also include any other industry, or business, specific information you see fit. This may include your location, future plans, or any other perks compared to your competitors.
Remember, you shouldn't discriminate in your job ads. Use language carefully to encourage a diverse range of candidates to apply. You shouldn't, for example, ask for someone of a specific age to apply. And you shouldn't use terms that indicate gender, such as "waitress". It could lead to a claim of discrimination if some applicants feel they can't automatically inappropriate for the role.

How to write a job advert—examples

After explaining how to write a job advert, templates are a good resource to turn to for a better understanding. We provide one below you can refer to, but remember that you’ll need to adapt it to suit your requirements when you’re writing a job spec.

*Job advert example*

PHP Web Developer £30,000 p/a depending on experience. We’re close to the train station in the city centre. We’re looking for a world-class PHP Web Developer to join our friendly and hardworking team in [location]. Reporting to our technical director, you’ll handle day-to-day duties such as managing client projects and in-house projects. Your code must be well-designed and clean, with tasks ranging from Symfony to Laravel and WordPress. Who we’re looking for You should have at least three years’ experience agency-side or in-house. And that means you’ll have worked across projects involving:
  • An exceptional understanding of clean, well-structured code that meets high-quality industry standards.
  • OOP programming experience.
  • A solid understanding of API integration.
  • Understanding of source code management (GitHub, Bitbucket etc.)
  • Ability to work well within a team.
  • Excellent organisational and time-keeping skills—you’ll manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Friendly and personable to fit in with our relaxed company culture.
Any additional skills will be an advantage. It’s a fast-paced environment, but one that rewards hard work with bonuses and other office perks. Why you should apply We’re an award-winning business with 20 years’ experience in our sector. After rapid expansion over the last 12 months, we’re adding to our team to help the business grow. As well as a competitive wage and a chance to gain more experience with an enthusiastic team, you can also expect to:
  • Work across a diverse range of engaging projects.
  • Learn new skills and refine old ones.
  • Take advantage of personal development opportunities.
  • Enjoy regular social events and get to know your colleagues.
If this all sounds ideal then you can apply straight away with your CV, a portfolio of your work, and a cover letter. Contact us directly on: [email address].

*End of template*

Need help with your hiring strategy?

 Get in touch and we’ll talk you through the best way for your business to approach writing a job spec. Call us today: 0800 028 2420.

Suggested Resources